SOAPOPERAFANZINE

#Weekly

SOAPOPERA MEETS CIAO LUCIA

// The holiday season is over. But will continue with your fav new brand.

AN INTERVIEW BY AMANDA BALLERINI

For this #SoapOperaMeets we had a chit chat with CiaoLucia’s founder, Lucy Akin, who launched her clothing brand in June 2017.

The idea of Ciao Lucia is a girl on eternal vacation, a kind of resort life for the girls who feel the holiday is never over if you have it inside.
Inspired by places like the French Riviera and the Amalfi Coast, the collection has a lot of vintage references, its logo is also themed after an old Italian movie poster, since Lucy has always been totally obsessed with Italian graphics from the late 60s.
Envision a girl at a beautiful seaside hotel in Europe, tanning by the water, taking long afternoon strolls, and having lengthy dinners with friends.

The dolce vita is never over, if it’s always inside of you.
I DIED FOR BEAUTY, and we all will, with CiaoLucia. (ref. Emily Dickinson).
Amanda. So tell me Lucy, what is your kind of ideal holiday getaway from everyday’s life?
Lucy. My ideal getaway is anywhere by the water.
I love small towns with neighborhood restaurants, happy people, and great architecture.
I love taking day trips on a boat. I love exploring new hotels, shopping the local small stores, and taking super long meals with the friends that are usually with me!

Amanda. And vice-versa… how can we make our today’s working life a bit more of “an eternal vacation”? (Especially is those stressful moments when we feel we would really give up and need to deserve ourselves those 2 precious hours…)
Lucy. I think the key to everyday happiness is taking a moment to put yourself back into your happy environment – for me, it’s putting myself back in nature and taking long walks with my dogs. I also think that not taking things too seriously helps.
Try to have fun and be less calculated.
That goes the same for dressing yourself – have fun with it!

Amanda. CiaoLucia expresses a kind of sensitiveness towards an “Italianess” that it’s a bit inside each one of us, Italian or not. What are the main feelings related to that kind of Italian nostalgia?
Lucy. I think Italians have a huge appetite for life.
There is a joie de vivre that is so natural and an intoxicating happiness.

Amanda. CiaoLucia makes me think about some movies referring to Antonioni times, were women were timeless beauties untouched by anything else, lost in their own flow of thoughts.
Is the CiaoLucia woman a bit like that?
Lucy. Definitely! I’m very inspired by new wave film and the famous set of heroines that made it so special. The Ciao Lucia woman is complicated but simple, fiercely independent with a huge need for adventure.

Amanda. How did the nickname Lucia originated back in Rome?
Was there a particular anecdote that you want to share with us when somebody first called you like that?
Lucy. For my Italian classes in college, we all had to pick an Italian name for ourselves so since I’m Lucy, I went with Lucia. After studying abroad in Rome, it pretty much became my permanent nickname amongst my closest friends.
It stuck for life and it seemed like the perfect name for my collection!

Amanda. Offering a limited turnover of styles and pieces is quite of a statement today, expressing a philosophy which stands against consuming products without a real meaning; this has become more and more difficult to find.
How does this principle matter to you?
Lucy. I think doing less and doing it well is starting to become more popular.
I choose to do it because I want people to invest in pieces that they’ll wear for as long as they can. I like to build on good ideas and make each piece meaningful.
Modern day collections are so huge these days and so many good ideas get thrown away after one season. I also think we need to start being more mindful of the cost to make clothes. Consumers need to start asking “why is this the price and who made it and where was it made”.

Amanda. Was CiaoLucia a dream you had for a longtime? How did it become finally concrete in 2017?
Lucy. I carried around the idea for the collection for a long time but I never thought that I was capable of doing it. I’m not a trained designer, so I didn’t think it would be possible for me to make anything. But I used the skills I had from working in fashion for so long to start making things for fun on the side. And my hobby blossomed into something much more!

Amanda. How do you connect LA to Italy in your work? How is the perception Californians have about the Italian reality? (Between stereotypes, imagination, popular history and reality).
Lucy. I think we perceive Italy as being one of the most romantic places in the world.
Between the Amalfi Coast, the canals of Venice, the piazza’s of Florence… Italy is for lovers!
I think there is a similar but different romanticism to California.

Amanda. “Dolce vita” is the first word I think of with CiaoLucia.
Everything has that peculiar pseudo Italian nostalgic vibe, coming from an e?poque that is far away but still very present for most of us who love it. I think about movies like “Il Sorpasso” (apart from the infamous Fellini’s masterpiece).
How did you fall in love with this sentiment – way of living?
Lucy. Italy was a long time passion of mine since I was little.
I think I first fell in love when I watched The Godfather and immediately fell in love with the wedding scene in Sicily (haha). I told my dad that if he ever wanted to see me when I grow up, he would need to travel to Italy because that’s where I would be living!
There was a draw for me from the start.

Amanda. Who are your past-present muses? Are you looking to someone when searching for inspiration?
Lucy. I’ve got quite a few – at the top of the list? Anna Karina.
After that, Margherita Missoni, Tilda Swinton in I Am Love, Brigitte Bardot, Gwyneth Paltrow in Great Expectations, Catherine Deneuve in Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Jane Birkin, Miuccia Prada… I love Hitchcock, Fellini, and Godard.
Films from the past have been a major inspiration for me my whole life.
Also Slim Aarons photography – he captured Italy in the most intoxicating way.

Amanda. A movie and a book which blew your mind.
Lucy. I’m going to name my favorite of all time favorites.
Movie: Une Femme est Une Femme.
Book: Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald.

 

Meet CiaoLucia here and here!
All pictures by Jen Wolf, courtesy of CiaoLucia.

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